In 2017, the U.S. is expected to import upto 80% of its avocados from Mexico, according to Tom Bellamore, president of the California Avocado Commission. That equates to 2.14 billion pounds of avocados.
Only 10% of the country’s demand is currently met by domestically-grown avocados, nearly all of that in California. One thing is for sure. The U.S. cannot meet consumers’ growing demand for avocados given current domestic production rates.
“I’d say it’s all but impossible for California to get anywhere close to meeting the demand,” Bellamore said.
That leaves the supply and cost of avocados susceptible to border politics. Trump has raised the possibility of taxing all Mexican imports 20% in order to pay for construction of a border wall. White House spokesman Sean Spicer later said the tax was one of several strategies under consideration.
Mexican avocado growers, however, remain optimistic that neither a wall nor a tax will keep avocados out of U.S. grocery stores.
“We are confident that the trade policy between our two governments will continue to support U.S. consumers’ growing love of avocados,” the Avocado Producers and Exporting Packers Association of Mexico said in a statement last Friday.